1134 Dealy Lane

Napa, CA 94559

Tel. (707) 253-9463

 

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Mahoney Family Vineyards

Fleur de California

We would like to think that there is a standard of grape ripeness in the wine industry, but there is not. As we learn year after year, it is an ever evolving and objective moment in the grape’s life cycle. So, how to we determine grape ripeness and how to we make decisions on when the grapes are ready?

 

Grapes on the vine in veraison with a leaf to the right, and a blue sky and dirt on the ground.

Veraison

Basics of Ripeness

While there are different determining factors, there are a few basic indications that the grape is ready. The grapes should be softer to the touch, and easy to pull off the vine. If it is hard, it is still too young, and if it is shriveled, it is too old. When the grape color changes, it is called veraison. Veraison is a good indicator that it is starting to ripen and will soon be ready to pick. Our grapes are currently moving through veraison, and will be ready to pick within the next month or two.

 

Factors in Flavor

As the grape is growing, it will take on different flavors. The longer it sits on the fine, the bolder the flavor will be. A young red fruit will taste more vegetal and and have flavors green apple and citrus. When it ages, it will become more jammy and red-fruited, which means it is sweeter and will have a higher alcohol content. We strive to create a balanced wine, so we try to pick our grapes before they become too ripe.

 

Since harvest is coming soon, we are looking forward to sharing our process and we hope you can join us for updates!

 

Check out the PDF below to read more on ripeness!

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